Jos Buttler hails ‘the ultimate competitor’ Ben Stokes as familiar hero inspires England’s T20 World Cup win

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Jos Buttler hailed “the ultimate competitor” in Ben Stokes after England’s talisman once again lifted them to World Cup glory.

Stokes’ unbeaten half-century saw England to a five-wicket victory over Pakistan in Sunday’s T20 World Cup final in Melbourne, three years after similar heroics inspired the 2019 50-over success at Lord’s.

The all-rounder marshalled what had the potential to prove a tricky chase on a challenging surface at the MCG after England lost top-order wickets, but accelerated late on to swing the game England’s way during a pivotal 16th over before striking the winning runs.

“He is the ultimate competitor in anything he does,” Buttler said. “He has got a lot of experience as well and can take a lot on his shoulders.

“He timed it perfectly. The impetus he and Moeen [Ali] gave it in that phase of the game took it away from Pakistan.”

The victory makes England the first ever men’s team to hold both the T20 and 50-over world titles at the same time, with Stokes one of six players involved in both triumphs.

Stokes himself paid tribute to another of them in Buttler, who took over as captain from Eoin Morgan this summer and was England’s top run scorer during the tournament.

“He has really taken control of his side and created his own legacy,” Stokes said. “He is an incredible guy who everyone follows.

“It should not be taken for granted how hard it is to make tactical decisions in this format, but 95 per cent of his decisions he has got right. And we know what he is like with the bat. We are lucky to have him.”

Despite Stokes’ knock it was bowler Sam Curran who was named player of the match in the final for superb figures of 3-12 and the Surrey seamer also picked up the player of the tournament award after a sensational first World Cup campaign.

“I am a little bit lost for words,” Curran said. “It has been a great tournament for us. Amazing, It is my first World Cup. Thank you to our amazing fans who came out tonight.

“Coming into this tournament I wanted to be adaptable, I haven’t bowled at the death as much. I want to improve with the bat. I’m always looking to improve. But I’m not thinking about that now as we are world champions!”